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Sears Files for Bankruptcy Protection to Buy Turnaround Time

Sears website 725 x 500

Sears Holdings Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection to 'buy more time for a turnaround, one it’s been attempting for years,” according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.

The article states that the company has lost more than $11 billion since 2011 and has closed over 725 of its Sears department stores and Kmart discount stores.

In a press release on the Sears corporate website, the company announced it intends to close 142 unprofitable stores towards the end of the year, and will shortly begin liquidation sales at those stores. These closures are in addition to the previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that will likely complete by November 2018.

CEO Edward Lampert is to step down from his position with immediate effect but will remain as chairman of the board, with Robert A. Riecker, Chief Financial Officer; Leena Munjal, Chief Digital Officer, Customer Experience and Integrated Retail; and Gregory Ladley, President of Apparel and Footwear, taking on the responsibilities of the role.

Since filing for bankruptcy protection, Sears has received commitments for $300 million debtor-in-possession financing which will enable it to continue trading and paying staff while the business restructure gets underway.

Robert A. Riecker, Chief Financial Officer, and member of the Office of the Chief Executive. "Our stores, online and mobile platforms, and related businesses are open and we continue to offer our customers and members the brands and products they want. We look forward to continuing to engage in productive discussions with our creditors and other stakeholders to pursue a plan of reorganization as expeditiously as possible."

"Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets," said Edward S. Lampert, Chairman of Sears Holdings. "While we have made progress, the plan has yet to deliver the results we have desired, and addressing the Company's immediate liquidity needs has impacted our efforts to become a profitable and more competitive retailer. The Chapter 11 process will give Holdings the flexibility to strengthen its balance sheet, enabling the Company to accelerate its strategic transformation, continue right sizing its operating model, and return to profitability. Our goal is to achieve a comprehensive restructuring as efficiently as possible, working closely with our creditors and other debtholders, and be better positioned to execute on our strategy and key priorities."

Lampert continued, "As we look toward the holiday season, Sears and Kmart stores remain open for business and our dedicated associates look forward to serving our members and customers. We thank our vendors for their continuing support through the upcoming season and beyond. We also thank our associates for their hard work and commitment to providing millions of Americans with value and convenience."

Source : Insight DIY Team and Sears

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16 October 2018

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